Disc golf rising in popularity – NBC 29

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – The sound of success. It’s what 14-year-old Grady Wilkerson wants to hear when he’s on the disc golf course.

His dad got him started on the game less than two years ago.

“He was like, ‘Do you want to try out this new thing called disc golf?’ so I just started playing. It was pretty fun,” Grady said.

Grady recently won a tournament in Culpeper in his under-15 division. He’s gotten pretty good in the two years he’s been playing.

When asked how he’s been training, he said: “Just practicing, I got one of those things in my backyard, and I started playing a lot.”

For Grady and his dad, the game has become a bonding experience as the two often compete on the course.

“It’s extraordinary that we have a common interest that we can spend time together doing,” said David Wilkerson, Grady’s dad. “It’s contagious, I had a friend at work who kept asking me to come out and chuck discs, I didn’t know what he was talking about. There was a course near my house that I was unaware of and the moment I played, I knew it was going to change my life. It has gotten me outside and physical, and gotten me something to pursue.”

Disc golf has been around for decades, but its popularity has really taken off in the last few years, including at Meadowcreek Gardens in Charlottesville, where it’s free to play. A lot of people picked up the sport when COVID hit.

“We have seen this course just blow up in the last few years. Anytime there’s good weather, weekends, this place is quite busy, which is why we’re trying to put in more courses so we can spread the love around even more in the Charlottesville area,” said JR Stoffel with the Blue Ridge Disc Golf Club.

For now, Grady Wilkerson continues to work on his game with hopes of competing in more tournaments, and to just have fun with friends.

“I think it would be pretty cool in college to just go out and randomly play, Grady said.

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